Hastings council confirms sale of Harrow Lane playing fields to developer

Playing fields in Hastings have been sold to developers, it has been confirmed.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 12:27 pm
Protestors at a demonstration in July this year. SUS-211207-134013001

The borough council said it had ‘exchanged conditional contracts’ to sell Harrow Lane playing fields for new homes to be built.

The news comes despite residents’ objections and protests against proposals to sell off the green space.

More than 1,100 people signed an online petition set up by borough councillor Paul Foster.

On the online petition he said that Ilke Homes had bought the site for an ‘undisclosed sum’.

He said: “I informed the developer that there were over 1,100 signatures against the sale of the land, including the MP. I asked if they were aware of the land covenant, they replied that they were aware.

“Ilke plan to build 140 one, two, three and four-bedroom accommodation units, using a modular construction technique. It is of little comfort, but that number is less dense than the current draft local plan, which has 212 units proposed for this site.

“It’s so sad that this piece of green space which is greatly valued locally, appears to be lost to development forever.”

A protest was held by residents in July this year on the playing fields.

Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart and councillors Mike Edwards and John Rankin attended.

Cllr Edwards led the protest and said the playing fields were gifted to Hastings Borough Council by a local philanthropist with a covenant that the land could only be used for recreational purposes.

At the time the council said the Harrow Lane site provided a ‘massive opportunity’ to deliver new housing.

A Hastings Borough Council spokesman said: “We’ve exchanged conditional contracts and are working on the next stage.”